>>> Archive
July 2006



Last day, last words

Photo essay and video clips: Last day at Radio Zamaneh & group dinner in the center of Amsterdam
Jahanshah Javid

Murdered in prison

Sayeh Hassan

A prominent student activist Akbar Mohammadi died in the notorious Evin Prison Sunday night July 31st, 2006. Mr. Mohammadi had been on a hunger strike for more then a week, protesting the refusal by the Islamic Regime to allow him to seek proper medical treatment for life threatening injuries suffered as a result of torture. Mr. Mohammadi was threatened and beaten by prison officials in order to stop him from continuing with his hunger strike, but he would not falter. He had chosen his path and would continue to the end... There are reports of him being beaten severely by prison guards the night of his death. Mr. Mohammadi did not die, he was MURDERED at the hands of the Islamic Regime >>>

Down to Coke and Diket Coke
Pedram Moallemian

I often get asked if I am a "Democrat". Not the type that believes in the concept of democracy, but meaning someone who supports the Democratic Party in U.S. It is natural, I suppose, for people to hear or read my low opinion of the Bush administration and automatically assume that I must be supporting the only other party represented in the country's power structure. Well, the answer is a resounding "MAYBE"! Please, let me explain. If by "Democrat", they are suggesting I would support the other half of this one directional monster, that is not me. If they mean I would support a moderate Democrat to replace a fanatical Republican, then the answer is yes >>>

Did Iran over-play its hand?

Israeli goal was also to remind Iranian president and his backers that Israel will spare no efforts when its interests and security are threatened

While the news of all out war between Israel and Hezbollah has dominated the news media for the past few weeks, Iran's refusal to respond to 5+1 western incentive package to tame its nuclear technology continues. I might be very naïve in Middle East politics, but one can not help but to notice a suspiciously close timing between the Hezbollah's latest provocation of Israel on one hand and capturing of Israeli soldiers by Hamas militants in Gaza on the other, all the while that western countries demanding that Iran must respond to the incentive package before the end of July or face sanctions. It is possible that Iranian rulers emboldened with current US failure in IRAQ and increase power of Iraqi Shiites, thought they could teach US and its western allies a lesson as well as a reality check through their proxies in Lebanon and Palestine >>>

Purging Persian

Guive Mirfendereski

When we were growing up (not that we are now fully grown up), we used to make fun by assigning to some unsuspecting ethnicity or region of Iran the equivalent of a common word. One that I recall easily was the word balkon, mostly believed to be from the French balcon meaning "balcony." The fun was to say that the Rashti called it abestan divar, the "pregnant wall." There was no second meaning to describe the section of a theater. While Mighty Mouse Ahmadinejad and his Farsi police excise the term balkon from Farsi, they need to pause and pose the question "What if a foreign-sounding word is really of Farsi/Persian origin?" One case in point is balkon itself. I happen to think that the foreign balcon comes from the Farsi bala-khaneh (also used in Ottoman Turkish), which means the upper level of the house >>>




Kayvan Farchadi

My name is Kayvan Farchadi, a resident of the Washington DC Metropolitan area and the son of Ms. Gelareh Bassiry. I attendschool atThe Collegeof William and Mary and will be entering my sophomore year. In addition to being very active in the Persian Club and Persian Community at William and Mary, I amalso active in the DC Iranian community. I have volunteered at the Iranian Community School in Vienna, VA for a number of years both working with students as well as video taping their Norooz shows. Further, I am an active member of the staff of IAAB (Iranian American Alliances Across Borders), a non-profit group that does a lot of good work aimed at Iranians in diaspora. Perhaps I have bored you too much with my details. I am a student constantly trying to find ways to fund my education. Recently, a friend of mine and I started a business called PersianHookahs.com . The purpose of this enterprise is topayfor our college expenses. We are very small right now, but believe we have amazing potential for growth to do theseriousness of our resolve and the urgency of our need.


Quiet elegance

Photo essay: Visiting Rembrandt on his 400th birthyear
Jahanshah Javid

Gay Iran

International Day of Action Against Homophobic Persecution in Iran
Tala Dowlatshahi

Earlier this month the international community came together to commemorate IDAAHOPI (International Day of Action Against Homophobic Persecution in Iran). Demonstrations took place from Brussels to Chicago, Tehran to Dublin, Moscow to New York, and Florida to the United Kingdom to condemn the 19 July 2005 executions of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni in the Iranian city of Mashhad. The two young men, both in their late teens, were hanged after the father of a thirteen year old boy who had sex with them charged the boys with rape by knifepoint. Some reports indicate the charges were a smokescreen and the father of the thirteen-year-old was forced by secret police to press charges to avoid having his son be charged with the crime of sodomy. Community members also claimed that a family member reported Mahmoud and Ayaz's secret relationship to the police >>>


Professional Journalism in Palestine
Hossein Shahidi

The paper that I shall present is focused on Palestinian journalists, especially those working for the local media, who cover one of the world's defining confrontations, with blurred boundaries between foreign and domestic news, and overlapping military, political, economic and religious themes. The paper was written before the recent escalation of the fighting in Gaza and the outbreak of war on Lebanon. But I believe the main points of it are still valid and the conclusion perhaps even more so >>>

Terribly wrong

Ben Madadi

George W Bush is saying that he is envisaging a radical change in the Middle East so that another September 11 would not take place. This is also why his administration is defending Israel in its hard action in Lebanon, so that another rogue element, Hezbollah, would be removed. The intention seems noble, to bring democracy to the Middle East. But Mr Bush is in a huge miscalculation, a similar one to the miscalculation that brought down the Roman Empire. Mr Bush, and many American politicians, see the Middle East as grumpy and week, as not necessarily a possible serious threat >>>

Sorry friends

Part 17: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

I went to elementary school with Neusha. I remember him as a passionate and conflicted little boy. I remember looking away from him whenever he fixed his knotted gaze at me from behind his blond curls. I never saw him as an adult but knew he had become a left-leaning writer. I suspect that his historical materialism fought a losing battle with his first-hand experience of the way in which history changes nothing. After the fire he was unable to speak and I did not write to him, knowing that he was surrounded with love and attention. I was thinking of his long, painful, and possibly lonely recovery and how his friends’ support would be most useful then. Two weeks later he died >>>


Moments to remember

Photo essay and video clip: Shahrokh Golestan and 20-30 somethings leave their impression at Radio Zamenh workshop and beyond
Jahanshah Javid

Neither expansionism nor extremism

It is a shame for the Twenty First Century to bear witness to the return of barbarism and violence
Ali M. Aliabadi

The Muslim world is for the most part guilty of having unelected and corrupt governments which have kept the majority of the population in poverty, illiteracy, and with no say in their own political destiny.  In addition, the Muslim world has been plagued with a religiously and culturally closed mindset, political corruption, economic decay, and a freedom deficit. Some Muslims need to be more open minded, embrace religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue, consider modernity as the reality of change and an opportunity as opposed to a threat, and realize that the West is not an enemy nor is it monolithic; rather, it encompasses many cultures with their own unique characteristics >>>


Deep depression

Photo essay: Art show in 4 galleries in Tehran
Amirali Ghasemi

Wake up call

War waged by Israel in Lebanon is prelude to war on Iran
Abbas Edalat, Foaad Khosmood, Shahram Mostarshed, Daniel Pourkesali, Rostam Pourzal, Nader Sadeghi, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

The anti-Iran propaganda over Lebanon is now combined with the three year long campaign by the US in the international community, International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Security Council which accuses Iran of developing a covert nuclear weapons program... Iran has always insisted that it will not relinquish its rights for a civilian nuclear technology and will refuse to comply with the US demand  for suspension of its enrichment programme. These two irreconcilable positions will lead to major international crisis and with the Israel-US-UK entrenched positions can only be resolved through a military confrontation >>>


Too hot

Photo essay: London was so hot these past few days...
Parima Shahin Moghaddam


Faal foroosh

I decided to do everything in my power to help less fortunate children
Maziyar Kahali

"Please agha, please buy a Faal" it just 200 tomans!" As we walked in former Pahlavi Avenue it was the fifth "faal foroosh" that confronted me. It hurt me as people walked by ignoring the small children as if they did not even exist. It hurt me to know one of the richest countries on earth, the biggest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, deals with so much poverty, most of its victims being its innocent children. It was my second trip to Iran after five years; when I moved to California I was probably the same age of one the kids who had a "Morgheh Eshgh" in hand >>>

Ey Khodaa, pas to kojaaie?

So where are you... God?
Khosh khoda

Posthumous birth

On the need for a small coffin for a child born to a woman killed in an Israeli missile attack on southern Lebanon
Sarah Amsler

* Mehvare ashraar
* The Axis of Evil

Your forgiving gods have all died
Leila Farjami


Meet Farah Karimi

Photo essay: Dutch member of parliament wants to promote human rights through the media
Jahanshah Javid

Define spring

The essays of Sadegh Sedaghat
Hadi Khorsandi

Spring is when we are asked to write boring essays about spring. Every year it’s the same thing. This year, like every year, that’s what we’ll do. Spring. Spring. Spring. It’s a national tradition. My mum and dad used to do the same thing when they were my age and my grandparents, well, they didn’t go to school. In fact, if some of the stories my granddad tells me are true, they didn’t even have shelter. Dad says he exaggerates. How can you write about spring when you don’t know what spring is? I mean, if you can’t read and write it just comes and goes doesn’t it. I wonder what the sheep think. They must celebrate spring too -- that’s one thing we Iranians do. Spring, the equinox, is when our New Year is. Sensible really, not bang in the middle of winter when everyone’s depressed. Not quite sure what equinox means. My brother says it’s a disco in London. Anyway, here’s spring, defined by yours truly Sadegh Sedaghat >>>

Imam Ganji

It is time that we wake up, that we learn to omit our mistakes by not hearing of any person, organisation or group with the word “Islam” attached to it
Jahanshah Rashidian

Ganji recently launched a hunger strike in front of the UN for the release of political prisoners in Iran, mainly three IRI’s detainees. One of them, Akbar Moussavi Khoeini is a Ganji friend and a former IRI’s insider with a black record of involvement in the IRI’s repressive organs. Needless to mention, tens of thousands of political prisoners in Iran, who are not ITR’s former insiders, are not in the centre of Ganji’s campaign. They suffer from inhuman conditions in IRI’s political prisons and some of them are waiting for their execution. In the current atmosphere of hatred against the IRI, any annoyer, even a former IRI’s insider, who has courage to annoy the regime, is bound to win sympathy among Iranians. This is particularly effective when the annoyer can skilfully exploit the lack of any radical and democratic movement in Iran >>>

Engine of hatred

Farid Parsa

The already beleaguered world can do without the violence that Israel and Hezbollah are dishing out to each other. Israel is a classic case of democracy that has grown paranoid. People in Israel will vote for any government that would kill women and children, not to shield them against real, immenent attacks, but anxiety and panic attacks. Hezabollah on the other hand is feeding their engine of hatred by pointing the finger at Israel's atrocities, as another proof of their disregard for innocent Moslem lives.  Hezabollah insists that they are in Lebanon because people want them to be there. They only go along with democratic processes when it suites their purposes but in reality they have very little respect for democracy in general. Hezbollah is a religious movement that cannot stand on its own two feet unless it finds an object of its hatred first, and Jews are only one of such groups that they hate.

Name your price

This buying and selling one’s country for monetary gain reminds me of when I was a child in Iran

Because of my cartoon photo paintings sometimes I receive emails asking me how much I sold my country for. I have become convinced that some of these emailers are trying to find out what the fair market price for selling one’s country is. U.S. Department of State has $75 million to spend on anti IRI propaganda and regime change. At the same time I hear (without any proof) that IRI has a budget of $150 million to recruit university professors, artists, political activist, and so on to disseminate opinions in its favor. Sometimes I hear ‘folani’ (such and such person) is making two thousand dollars a month for supporting IRI regime. I have no idea whether these things are true or not, but I am sure it’s enticing to some people to know that they might be able to sell their country to the regime or the State Department, you know, extra cash to pay the bills, catch up with max-ed out credit cards, opium, and things like that >>>

Islam in public

Book excerpt
Elham Gheytanchi

Jalil Shahnaz

Taknavazan: Solo performances
Azam Nemati

I am thirlled to share with fans the magnificent music of legendary Jalil Shahnaz. I had bought the tape a few years back and thanks to Dr. Meshginpoosh for digitizing it so that everyone can listen to these beautiful music pieces of various Dastagaahs >>>

Israel's actions are tantamount to state terrorism

In response to Meir Javedanfar's "Iran's Lebanese blunder": Reading his recent analysis of events unfolding in southern Lebanon, one has to wonder if Mr. Javedanfar is stuck on planet Murdoch with his TV stuck on the Fox News channel... Let's get our facts straight -- Israel's disproportionate reaction by engaging in an all out bombardment of villages in southern Lebanon which led to slaughter of many innocent civilians including children is what preceded Hezbollah's rocket attacks on northern Israel >>> More letters



Highs & lows

Photo essay: First trip to Amsterdam for Radio Zamaneh
Jahanshah Javid

The magic ring

Short story
Azadeh Azad

I dream of my mother’s mother, my favourite Grandma. She is dressed in a majestic Witch-Queen’s attire and wears a magic ring on her left little finger. Her eyes are loving and deep, and she holds a lotus when she visits with her subjects. She wears the horns of a mountain goat on her head when she plays harp for her close friends. She is the creator of all things beautiful and loved back by all her creatures. It’s a cloudy morning. Grandma-Witch-Queen finishes spinning the golden wheel of joyful living in the Garden of Good and enters her Temple-Palace for siesta. I expect sweet silence and just one little chirp, but I hear Grandma’s sudden outcry. I run to the building and see her rushing out of her chambers to the Temple’s gallery. "My magic Ring is missing. It is lost, gone, vanished. I want it back before the dawn of tomorrow," my Grandma-Queen shouts at three men who are standing below a crystal chandelier >>>

The vulgar American

Random thoughts on bad manners 
Guive Mirfendereski

I am deeply disappointed in President Bush’s manners. He was already ugly enough as a rude caricature of a wannabe statesman. Now this week he revealed aspects of himself that frankly are not becoming of a prodigy belonging to a self-styled class of American aristocracy. The video of the president’s statesmanlike shit-shat with the English Prime Minister Tony Blair is being replayed in the US for the use of the four letter word “shit.” But the tape tells a longer tale. First, the preppie and Yale-educated son of a statesman is shown calling Tony Blair over with a jovial “Yo, Blair,” as if he was calling his lackey (may be so!). The then clears shows the president chewing his food with his mouth open -- a disgusting and crude table manner even in the most backward parts of this planet >>>

Love Iranian-American style

Ari Siletz

It’s been a long time since American documentaries haven't been reality shows. These days even the respected PBS science series NOVA occasionally airs like an unscripted drama. To create the documentary film Love Iranian-American Style director Tanaz Eshaghian recorded over the years her family’s quixotic quest to find her a suitable husband. The result has the charming humor of My Big Fat Greek Wedding layered over the educational substance of a college course in sociology. Early in the filmmaker's interviews with the politely distraught Eshaghian clan we find out that Tanaz, unlike other women in her Jewish Iranian family, has no use for the strictures of traditional matrimony. She won't marry this doctor or that businessman and have children in her early twenties. She was raised in America and she wants to marry for love >>>

No winners

Jews have neither accepted colonisation nor been good colonisers
Ben Madadi

When it's about Israel everyone has an opinion. If you ask the Arabs, you get almost unanimously angry faces, and when you ask the Europeans most of them do not have a positive opinion about Israel. Some poll a few years ago in Europe showed that most Europeans thought Israel was the greatest threat to world security, ranking higher than Iran or North Korea. It's interesting that so many Iranians in the diaspora are actually pro-Israel rather than pro Muslim Arabs. People side with or against Israel mostly because of personal prejudice and ideological or political partisanship. Iranians who live in Iran are mostly anti-Israel. This doesn't necessarily mean they are in favour of Israel's annihilation. They simply don't care much about Israel >>>


Pure death

Photo essay: Southern Beirut bombed by Israel


Stop the bombing NOW!

Photo essay: Anti-Israeli demonstration in Toronto
Nader Davoodi

Iran's Lebanese blunder

If anything, the Middle East is shutting its doors in the face of Iran
Meir Javedanfar

The current conflict, which almost certainly took part with Iran's agreement, is not wielding many positive results for Iran. Iran intended to use the current conflict as a tool to bolster its deterrence image. The kidnappings which were followed by Katyusha missile attacks were meant to send a message to Jerusalem. This message meant to say “stop threatening us, and forget about attacking our nuclear installations, because we could cause you severe pain”. Instead, by initiating the attack, Iran gave Israel a pretext to attack its military capability in Lebanon, and to cause damage to it. This bolstered Israel's deterrence at the expense of Iran and Hezbollah's >>>

Mizrahi-Palestinian tragedy

Mizrhaim provides the demographic majority on whose civic docility the Eurocentric Israeli regime rests
Reuven Abarjel & Smadar Lavie

And now here we are, in front of the Israeli screen, bombarded by the TV discourse of experts. The channels are broadcasting live from the studios and the battlefields. Commercial interludes are part of the show. The majority of experts are Ashkenazi (European Jewish) males by default. They are flanked by a handful of Mizrahi men (Oriental Jews who immigrated to Israel mainly from the Arab World).  These men climbed the public service ladder within the nationalist hegemonic confines. Together, they are Israel’s knowledge mercenaries. Through the tube -- Israel’s tribal campfire -- they dictate the national agenda >>>

Fighting terrorism since 1492

Javad Fakharzadeh

On a business trip to Seattle, I decided to visit the city I used to work at the Boeing during the 1970’s. On my way to Everett, Washington, just north of Seattle, I stopped at an American Indian reservation where they have built a remarkable casino. Although I am not a gambler, I decided to go to the gift shop and spend my money on some artifacts and souvenirs, even though the money was a paltry sum, I still felt I was helping the native Americans. Among many reproduction and other gifts and souvenirs, I spotted a stack of T-shirt that really caught my eyes and picked it up and examined the front message and picture and decided right then to purchase this T-shirt >>>

The bigots at work

No sovereign nation can exist with unsafe boundaries and missiles in the hands of uncontrolled militia 20 miles south of Haifa
Iqbal Latif

Hezbollah conscience and Hamas's political pragmatism should take lessons from 1948, 1967 and 1973. All wars have only helped in making Israel a bigger and stronger nation and left them to live in squalid conditions. Palestinians and Lebanese do not deserve it. And what does Iran have to do with it? Iran is only using the Palestinians and the Shiites in Southern Lebanon for harboring their own agenda in the Persian Gulf. If Iran thinks it can get away with this kind of irresponsible attitude just across the border in the South of Lebanon, then it is wrong. This kind of aggression has not paid before and it will not pay now. These are the kinds of self-defeating aims that Arab warriors, like Saddam, claimed as a great victory, which is nothing but opiate-induced slogans >>>


Post Pinochet

Photo essay: Santiago, Chile
Salim Madjd


Do I even begin to dare contemplate a return
Ali Alizadeh


the defining moment on the plains of Marathon of the Western World

You are a promise

Take a dive then into the depths of your mind
Sasan Seifikar

Children of Iraq

Wounded and dead children of iraq, stretch for as far as the eye can see
David B. McCoy

Last night I was with Hafez

The memory of a night in love
Hedieh Sajadi


Be warned, I am a harmless soul full of danger
Farid Parsa

Your music

... makes me run wild
Baharak Sedigh


How can I hold your hand, When I left mine in sand?
Akbar Showkatian

Valley of life

Or just a dream?
Tamar Mikaelian Katz

Peace will come when hatred of Israel will cease

In response to Siamak Kiarostami's "Moral and humanitarian disaster": Your article makes a passionate case against Israel's actions. Unfortuantely, it is as simplistic as those very Israeli and American actions you criticize. You seem to miss the point of Israel's actions. They're not meant to bring the world's compassion, make people "warm up" toward Israel, or "to remain legitimate in the eyes of the international community." Israel seeks to live, and to keep its citizens secure. That's currently the be-all-and-end-all of the Israeli government's obligation to its citizens, and will remain so as long as the Muslim Middle East isn't reconciled to Israel's existence. World sympathy would be nice, of course, but Israel has long discovered that world sympathy is only there when they die (or after they're dead), not when they're fighting to live. And that's too high a price to pay for sympathy, if you ask me >>> More letters

Where are you from?

Immigrants are supposed to come here for vacation, work, political refuge, but we’re not supposed to declare “home” as our destination
Jasmin Darznik

First aired on KQED Public Radio, 88.5 FM, San Francisco: “So where are you from?” a guy in a coffee shop asked me the other day. For a few years nobody asked me this question, but lately it’s made a comeback. “Iran,” I answer. I once made the mistake of calling America my home. I was twelve and my mother had just handed me my first immigration form. I’d been here since I was five. In the space of a few years I’d started sounding like a “real American,” as my parents put it. Both of them were over forty when we came here—they’d never be comfortable with English—so that year they put me in charge of the immigration forms >>>

Magic ingredient

As much as I prepared, life has proven that future couldn’t be predicted, all the same, after more than three decades of living in a place where no one ever “drops in”, I continue to cook enough for an army
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

The guests will be here in a matter of hours and I’m only halfway done with dinner. Sweet aroma of basmati rice, sautéed onions, and saffron fills my kitchen and the windows are fogged with steam rising from all four burners. I want to cook the best for my friends, I want this meal to be perfect, and as my hands do the work, memories of a kitchen I used to know fill my mind, except now it feels as if the remembrance belongs to another life: In a small town of Northern Iran, not far from the Russian border, we lived in an old house with a large garden that separated the kitchen from the living quarters: A dimly lit room with two wood-burning stoves and a bread oven -- tanoor. There was no sink; the water needed for cooking came through a rusty faucet on the concrete wall and drained into a hole on the tile floor >>>


Part 16: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

On my last night in Tehran, an unusually humid summer evening, my uncle and I were on our way to a friend's house. Driving through the dark and deserted streets where the lights have been dimmed or turned off since the first bombing raid of six years ago, we pulled over to buy cigarettes from a blind peddler. He counted out the change without having to step in front of the headlights of the car to see what he was doing. I had been thinking of a friend of mine who wondered whether we were going to Iran that summer in order to say our goodbys. I was thinking that I should remember to tell her not to fret over having to say goodbye. One does not take leave of things; things take leave of one >>>

And the winner is...

Ben Madadi

Some do actually gain from other's misery. And it's not just about cynical feelings but factual material gains. The current war in the Middle East, involving Israel and Lebanon, has had one curious, often overlooked consequence. It may or may not have been a conspiracy but the outcome clearly shows one single obvious winner and a lot one obvious losers. The winner is no other than the Iranian regime. It's said that the Iranian regime sponsors Hezbollah with about $100 million a year. This is while ordinary Iranians have so few jobs and Iran as a whole lacks many basic investments >>>


Nothing is impossible

Photo essay: Fans at Germany v. Argentina match in World Cup 2006
Nader Davoodi

Moral and humanitarian disaster

Criticism of Israel (often deliberately conflated with anti-Semitism) remains of the most visible 'red lines' of American political discourse
Siamak Kiarostami

Due to my education, I hated what had happened to the Jews, and felt a great deal of compassion for them. In a lot of ways, I still do. Only Israel, much like a Shakespearean character, suffers from a fatal flaw that I believe will be its undoing in the end; it seems determined to maintain its 'victim' status at any cost, even by victimizing others. I never was able to compartmentalize my empathy for the Jewish people and turn a blind eye to everything Israel has done in its brutal and dehumanizing 39-year occupation of Palestinian land. And it is precisely this track record, what appears to be an almost suicidal bent to Israeli actions that continues to erode the sympathy and understanding that I have had toward that country >>>

Really real reality

The ones who have the bombs and war materiel stored in private residences, schools, and yes, even mosques, are the Hezbollah
Kaveh Nouraee

I recall the time when if an Iranian was called an Arab, that was a faux pas equivalent to calling a black person a nigger. My, how times have changed. Now it has become fashionable to kiss Arab ass. Have any of you forgotten how the Arabs invaded our land and shoved their backwards ideology down the throats of our ancestors, who drank it up like chai straight from the samovar, before asking for another glass? Has anyone forgotten how Iran is still paying the price of what the Arabs did to us even today, and every single day since February 1979? In the Iran-Iraq war, who invaded our land? Arabs. Who, besides that piece of rat shit Khomeini and his flunkies killed innocent Iranian men, women, children and BABIES in that war? Arabs. Al-Qaeda? Arabs >>>


L.A. with a conscience

Photo essay: LA in support of Prisoners of Conscience in Iran
Shahla Sepehr Bebe

Sad saal setar

100 years of setar
Azam Nemati

"Sad Saal Setar" (100 years of setar) is a beautiful instrumental album that features various Iranian setar masters. I personally am grateful to Mahoor Cultivator Institute in Iran for preserving our musical heritage >>>

A couple of sandwiches short of a picnic

Siamack Baniameri

Somehow a brilliant salesman has sold Akbar Ganji the idea that Iranian expats can be a factor in brining democracy to Iran. One can't help but to feel sorry for Ganji for building his hopes and dreams of a civilized Iranian society on the quicksand of Iranian emigrants' landscape. What Ganji doesn't know about us is that overwhelming majority of Iranian expatriates and our opposition groups are a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.  Twenty seven years of hardship, paranoia, lack of self respect, extreme materialism and insecurities has turn most of us into money-loving, self-hating, psychotic, zombies with short fuses and hatred of our own kind. I feel sad for Ganji but find the entire affair entertaining >>>

Different agenda

Mehdi Amini

In response to Hossein Derakhshan's blog entry, "Is Ganji joining Sazgara?": Akbar Ganji has been accused of being an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran while at the same time accused of working with the neo-cons seeking a “regime change” with the help of the American Administration. That is remarkable. He must be a fantastic Charlatan that has fooled us all with the exception of those labeling these accusations. And the accusers must have formidable sources that are knowledgeable about the true nature of Ganji’s trip abroad. There is only one problem. These sources have two opposite information! >>>

Jonbeshe roshanfekri

Iranian intellectuals: Challenges & opportunities
Ali Salari

Calm amid the storm

Middle East expert Hossein Shahidi responds to six questions about Israel’s conflict with Hamas and Hezbollah and the prospect of war with Iran

Peyvand Khorsandi: President Bush said: “This [the Israeli onslaught against Lebanon] started because Hezbollah decided to capture two Israeli soldiers and fire hundreds of rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon. That’s the cause of the crisis.” Do you agree?
Hossein Shahidi: The question is not whether I agree or not, but whether the parties to the conflict do. According to BBC news reports, which have been my main source of information, Hezbollah’s capture of the two Israeli soldiers was preceded by a steady escalation of tension along the Lebanese-Israeli border over several months and was followed by Israeli attacks on Lebanon. There then came Hezbollah’s rocket attacks on Israel, which in turn were followed by Israeli air, sea and artillery attacks across Lebanon >>>



Nemat Lalehei

Vilifying Iran

Attacking Iran will not stop the violence in Lebanon
William O. Beeman

Blaming Iran for the horrific violence between Israel and the Arabs of Lebanon and Palestine is a popular stance in the world today. But such finger-pointing will do nothing to stop the destruction going on in the region. Paradoxically, however, Iran could play a role in bringing about peace. Iran makes a convenient scapegoat. It has no defenders. Americans and Europeans are already furious with Tehran over the development of Iran's nuclear program. The Sunni states in the region -- principally Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt -- are worried about growing Iranian power as Shiite forces throughout the region grow in influence. The Sunnis are uncomfortable defending the Shiite community in Lebanon, and are quite happy to have Iran bear the blame for the war >>>

Iran 4 - International Community (still) 0

The first loser in the Lebanon Crisis is the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty itself
Guive Mirfendereski

The Iranians strategists decided that a G-8 Summit should not be a place where the hands of the regime should be set in hana or wrapped in walnut skin -- that is to say to be tainted with a color that does not wash off easily. “You want something to talk about at G-8?,” they asked rhetorically in Tehran, “We will give you something to talk about.” But what? I have been noticing for a while that North Korea and Iran have been in this silent partnership of mischief. Every time pressure has built on one to do something with respect to its nuclear program, the other has acted as a distraction, to get the attention of the “international community” off the other... And with respect to the firestorm that Hezbollah seems to have provoked and Israel ignited across Lebanon, there are real losers >>>


Are we better off today?

Photo essay: New York’s Madam Tussaud’s
Shahriar Shahabi


London calling, for human rights

Photo essay & video clips: Akbar Ganji launching of hunger strike campaign in London
Nima Mina

Here are some pictures from the first day of the hunger strike and manifestation in front of BBC Radio's main building ("Bush House") in London on Fdriday July 14. At 6:30pm Akbar Ganji gave a speech at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London at an event organized by SOAS, Forum Iran and Amnesty International. This event was attended by 400 people. During the manifestation on Friday we noticed two individuals filming us from the other side of the street with their digital camcorders >>>

Zidane for president

Looking back at the 2006 World Cup
Maziar Shirazi

So yeah, maybe it’s too late to talk about this, but the World Cup this year was pretty disappointing.  I mean, the soccer was great, the passes, the goals, the passion in the air and all the Corona commercials and intelligent model-reporters on the Spanish channel ... I’m not ungrateful for the event, as it always makes my summer to see teams tear it up at the international level. What I’m really trying to say, I suppose, is that Iran was pretty disappointing.  Iran and Tunisia.  I don’t know how big Tunisia is for everyone else, but I happen to think that they are an awesome team.  By the way, in case you didn’t see him play, Trabelsi is a brilliant player, as good a defender and passer as most anyone else in the past two World Cups. I bring up Tunisia because they made the same mistake that Iran made: hiring a foreign coach >>>


Natural life

Photo essay: Rural Iran
Homayoun Bazargan

L.A. for human rights

Photo essay: Los Angeles gathering in support of Akbar Ganji's call for freedom of political prisoners
Pirzadeh Pirzadeh

Commitee defaa az Hoghoogh e Bashar va Azadi ye zendaaniyaan e siyasi dar Iran (California ye Jonoubi) dar hemaayat az faraakhaan e Akbar e GanjiLA, be hamraah e digar niroohaay e Azadi khaah va danesh jooyaan dar gerdeham aayi e rooz e yek shanbeh 16 July sherkat kard >>>

Labeling as a way out of a complex conflict

In response to Leila Farjami's "Feeding the fire" and Shalom Deen's "Comparing Israel to Hitler utterly outrageous": The psychological perspective you have offered plays a fundamental and life-altering role in driving thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and decisions of both the perpetrators and the victims of war crimes such as those being committed by Isreal in Lebanon and Plaestine. Terrorizing and killing of civilians is abhorring and must be condemned regardless of who is committing them, Israel or Hezbolah, or anyone else >>>

Facing reality

Faramarz Fateh

Let's face it, us Iranians know everything there is about anything. Politics, medicine, soccer, history, technology, business; you name it, we spew opinions out faster than a 15 year old virgin boy reaches happy ending at his first sexual experience. So, with that, I will spew out my humble opinions about whats going on in Lebanon: Israel is the 51st State of the United States of America. U.S.A. is ruled by Wall Street and like it or not, Wall Street is ruled by the Jews. Therefore, Jews rule the United States. My wife hates these statements, but what the heck, I can manage sleeping on the sofa a few nights >>>

Sick Deer

On the beauty of the Turkish language
Shahriar Zahedi


Guitar duo
Omid Bahadori

Rangin is a collaboration between Michael Meyer Omid Bahadori that began in 1998 in Hannover, Germany. These are samples from their third CD, "Toma Guarana" >>>


The boy is back

Photo essay: Family and life in Tehran
Pouya Alimagham

I spent the past 10 weeks of spring in Iran for the first time since I left with my family when I was two years old. I was in Tehran mostly, spending time with family and friends and studying Persian at the International Center for Persian Studies. After the class ended, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Shiraz and Esfahan. Here are pictures from Tehran. Stay tuned for the Esfahan and Shiraz photos >>>

I have only one wish

That tomorrow I can press on the bottom and let Fairuz’s music play knowing that peace is brought back
Charlotte Najafi

Unfortunately, there is now war again in Lebanon ... they have to stay at home, schools are closed, tourists are leaving the country and some historical sites are getting damaged, lives of innocents are taken and many others are going to be left behind with pain, sorrow and empty pockets and bank-accounts! If they have a job or have the insurance of keeping that what they have gotten now! How do we have to respond to this? I have respect for both folks, for both Lebanese and Israelis, they both have the right to have a better life and to enable their children to go to schools, to find jobs, to go on holiday and to show the world who they are and what they are. Let’s pray for the peace, not accusing anyone of being good or evil >>>

Omidvaari va negaraani

I don't want my faith in Ganji to go up in smoke
Homayoun Abghari

Half the world

Nasrin Sasanpour

"Isfahan is half the world"; so goes the Persian saying. Isfahan is in fact a unique historical site the way it is jeweled with the most beautiful turquoise tiles and their exquisite designs, against the backdrop of the city surrounded by the Zagros mountains and dotted with magnificent architecture of arches, minarets, palaces, and mosques ... The people from Isfahan are unique as well. They possess a great sense of humor peppered with a sweet accent; warm and clever, they come across as joyful & easygoing. The following depicts some of the eternal beauty of Isfahan >>> Watch

Middle East peace made easy

The only real attack the Israelis or Americans could take to end the violence in the Middle East would be a precise decapitation of the Iranian top leadership
Jerry Quill

The Mullahs' biggest threat is not the Americans or the Israelis. It's the Iranian people. Unlike liberals in America, the Iranian leaders clearly understand that America is winning the war in Iraq and that the fulfillment of the Bush doctrine will very likely result in the Iranian people giving the Mullahs a free ride on a Mussolini swing set. What the Mullahs most desperately need is an attack by Israel. Nuclear weapons are worthless to them as the Iranian people are dragging them to their execution but an Israeli attack on Iran's nuke sites would unite the people behind the regime >>>

Crime against humanity

Auctioning off Iran's ancient artifacts
Mohammad Ala

The decision by U.S. District Judge Blanche M. Manning allowing the sale of ancient Iranian artifacts which are in possession of the University of Chicago to settle a lawsuit by American survivors of a bombing in Israel in 1997 will establish a precedent which will further damage the image of the United States and will lead to more litigation by survivors of Western financed bombings and assassinations from around the world... A country’s cultural heritage should be preserved for the benefit of all people, not treated as a commodity to be traded.  While sympathy must go out to victims and their families, dispersing the resources amongst the survivors will not bring the victims back, nor come near to compensating them for their loss.  It would be a travesty to deny the people of other countries access to the antiquities of Iran by giving them to private individuals >>>

End of childhood

Ali Dadpay

Since the first Iranian blog by Salman Jariri and the manual to write blogs in Farsi by Hossein Derakhshan, many have chosen to write and use weblogs as tribunes to express their thoughts and ideas. Even a larger number of young and old writers have made it their personal online diaries... Today there is no doubt that weblogs have failed to substitute traditional channels such as daily papers. Their succes is elsewhere. They have opened a new way of communication, and keep a larger number of people connected with each other and each other's intellectual evolution. They also provide them by an easy and inexpensive way of communicating their ideas and experience >>>



The republican prince

Video clips: Interview with Amir Abbas Fakhravar
Jahanshah Javid

On the last day of the hunger strike in New York with Akbar Ganji Sunday, someone pointed out Amir Abbas Fakhravar. I had read differing views on his effort to overthrow the Islamic Republic. I decided to interview him and hear his own words >>>

Trapping Iran

Israel knows that Iran is trapped because it has to support Hezbollah
H. Saftar

I am somewhat surprised by the number of people who without any hesitation accept the media reports that Iran and Syria are behind all of this. I suppose to find an answer to this you really have to see who will benefit? Yes there is no denying that Iran founded, funds and backs Hezbollah. However Iran’s track record since the revolution shows that far from taking risks they have always took calculated actions. But what would Iran gain from this? The nuclear file is under the shadow of the UNSC and Iran knows that the more its image becomes hostile in the West, the less it can bargain when it comes to negotiating >>>

If you don't hear from me

Siamack Baniameri

My out of office AutoReply email: "I'll be on hunger strike for human rights in Iran for the next few days with no access to email. If your issue needs immediate attention, please dial my cell phone. If I'm too weak to answer my cell phone, please leave a message and I'll get back to you when the hunger strike in over and I have some food in my system. If you don't hear from me by the end of the week, please call 911 and send help. Thank you, Siamack Baniameri."

Comparing Israel to Hitler utterly outrageous

In response to Leila Farjami's "Feeding the fire": Putting aside Leila Farjami's dubious qualifications for psychoanalyzing the collective Israeli psyche -- seems to me just oft-repeated but amateurish psychobabble -- her points comparing Israel to Hitler are utterly outrageous. Hizbullah makes no compunction about targeting Israeli civilians, but we see no outrage from Farjami for such behavior. The fact that Hizbullah has not managed to kill more Israeli civillians is not for lack of trying. No one can argue that Hizbullah, Hamas, or their Syrian and Iranian sponsors have a moral problem with killing civillians; while all reasonable observers will realize that, had Israel not cared about the fate of civillians, the casualty rate would've been hundred-fold or more >>> More letters



Compassionate, democratic & independent

Video clips: Akbar Ganji speaking at the end of New York hunger strike
Jahanshah Javid


Ganji in New York

Photo essay: Akbar Ganji joins hunger strike in New York
Reza Mazaheri & Jahanshah Javid


Change through civil disobedience

Video clips: Akbar Ganji answers questions at New York hunger strike gathering
Jahanshah Javid

God's assassins

The Lebanese Hezbollah and the fundamentalist regime ruling Iran
Masoud Kazemzadeh

The fundamentalist regime does not deny its financial and strategic support and alliance with the Lebanese Hezbollah, but it regards it to be a guerrilla organization and not a terrorist organization. Imad Mugniyah, however, who had been residing in Iran, reportedly quietly left Iran after 9/11. The fundamentalist regime has denied that its agents have engaged in terrorism, although in many Western European courts, its agents have been arrested and convicted and imprisoned for assassination of Iranian dissidents. The regime has also used its proxy, the Lebanese Hezbollah, in assassinations in Europe >>>

Feeding the fire

Leila Farjami

As following the news on Israel’s attack against the Civilians of Lebanon (unarmed men, women, and children) and not particularly the Hezbollah!, like the rest of you, I wonder what they are attempting to accomplish. There’s absolutely no justification for the invasive and murderous acts of Israel (occupied Palestine, actually), but I could not help perceiving this catastrophe as an ancient psychological predicament: the victims have turned into victimizers >>>


Feeding freedom

Photo essay: New York hunger strike in support of political prisoners in Iran
Jahanshah Javid

From Gandhi to Ganji

Ari Siletz

Starting today there will be a 3-day worldwide hunger strike to protest the Islamic Republic's crackdowns against Iranians who insist on their human rights. The hunger strike has been organized around the feisty investigative journalist Akbar Ganji who nearly died last year after a prison hunger strike lasting several weeks. A hunger strike is a powerful political tool. The tactic was used by the pre-Christian Irish as an effective way of demanding justice. There would be tremendous loss of prestige and therefore power for a lord who allowed a plaintiff to die of hunger at his gate. Gandhi used the tactic against the British, winning independence for India, and the IRA used it effectively to win sympathy for its cause. Ironically Bobby Sands street in Iran is named after an IRA activist who died during a hunger strike in a British prison >>>


Better times in Bombay

Photo essay: A trip to Bombay (now Mumbai)
Peyvand Khorsandi

Eight soldiers equal dozens of civilians


Despites all the odds, through ups and downs I have always believed in one thing, that life or god or whatever you want to name it, is just. The idea of justice is not a system of belief but it has been my last link to this nasty, horrific, stinky life. On the nights when I was in jail, being punched and kicked, starved and sleep depraved, and being humiliated worse than an animal, I was holding a candle in the dark corner of my heart that was shedding light on two words, Justice Prevails! And in order to see its glorious occurrence I collected all my power to stay on course to see it happens. Now that I am getting older and am looking back at all the thick and thin days of my life and all the days and years that I've been waiting for the justice, I am asking, Justice Prevails? >>>

Don't shoot the messenger(s)

Or why it's a good thing to read and listen carefully before you speak and write
Persis Karim

Because I already responded directly to attacks on me and my book, I will try to address the most central issue I feel has been avoided in both these commentaries about me and the book. Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been represents what I believe is a literary movement that addresses and grows out of women's need to represent themselves and their experiences in a time and place where too often others represent women in the most simplistic and reductionist fashion (that includes agents of power such as governments, media, and various forms of censorial/political pressure from the community itself)... This LITERARY (emphasis here on the literary) collection is a tribute to these writers and their struggle and journey to claim a voice that speaks for themselves as women of Iranian heritage >>>


Me media

Photo essay: Visit to Washington DC
Jahanshah Javid

Faashizme Irani

Anti-Islamic fascism, inspired in the West, will do us no good
Djafar Madani

Viva Oriana!

Why is Fallaci against Islam and Muslims? It’s because she sees the threat of Islamic fundamentalism as a revival of the Fascism that she grew up fighting
Ali Sina

Azar Majedi says Fallaci’s opposition to Islamic immigration betrays her fight against Nazi-Fascism. “It seems to me that the hate against Islam has pushed you towards Christianity” says Majedi to Fallaci and berates her for visiting Pope “asking him to take a stronger stance against Islamism”. Majedi finds this “puzzling” and wonders “how does an atheist in hate of one religion take refuge in another?” Here is where Majedi reveals her dogmatic mindset. Who said an atheist must hate all religions or any religion for that matter? I do not believe in the existence of any deity that intervenes in the human affairs and is endowed with human attributes as most religions portray him, and yet I am reluctant to call myself an atheist because I do not want to be put in the same category of dogmatic materialists like Ms. Majedi >>>

How ridiculously anti-Islamic

G'day mate, I would like to congratulate you on how ridiculously anti-islamic your site is. You make it out as if your this peace loving tree hugging faggot that is secular to the whole world...but when it comes to one and only one religion...you are quick to shit on it. If you really hate islam that much...why dont you change the name of ur site to ihateislam.com so then people know ur agenda really is. Anyway mate...i really dont care....i will pray for you....but at the end of the day it is ur loss. Good luck and take it easy >>> More letters



Lessons from Oaxaca

Photo essay: I have always believed that it is important to bear witness to injustice, but on that day, I did not envy Oaxacans, tourists, or anyone else for having been present when the 4 a.m. assault took place
Maziar Shirazi

Some readers probably think that whatever happened in Oaxaca, Mexico (besides Nacho Libre) is more or less irrelevant to them. It is true that it’s just one of many examples of conflict in the world, and definitely not on the scale of a Sudan or an Iraq. It is possible that if I myself had only read about the strike in the New York Times online (as I later did), I would have read it over once and then forgotten about it, barring later coverage. I guess it is just different when you see something like this happen in person... One look around the city center gave us an idea of the scale and devastation of the conflict >>>

Where they have been

I find the attack against more than fifty innocent writers and shaming someone based on a comment during an interview unfair and unprofessional
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Anyone who knows the first thing about publishing industry in this day and age, also knows that money is in publishing romance, chick-lit and mystery, but it certainly is not in an anthology by Iranian women! So perhaps Ms. Siavashan should reconsider her implication that the editor has “sold out to sell a book.” For many of these young writers, this book is their début and hopefully a key to open other doors. How harmful it would be if anyone attempted to spoil that chance; and how ironic that such harm should come from none other than a female Iranian-American writer >>>

On the next flight to Tehran?

Captured Israeli soldiers
Meir Javedanfar

It is very unlikely that Israeli soldiers abducted in Lebanon will be sent to Iran immediately. According to Yossi Melman, Ha'aretz expert on intelligence matters “there is no need to send the soldiers to Iran. The Iranian intelligence organisation can easily send interrogators to Lebanon, who can sit in during the interrogation sessions, or actively participate in them. This has been done before, and can easily be done again”. Furthermore, if Hezbollah hands the soldiers to Iran, it will look like a complete Iranian puppet to the Lebanese people. This will damage Hezbollah's on going efforts to portray itself as a genuine Lebanese organisation >>>

Tavahomash yaa khodash?

When it comes to Israel, we prefer fantasy over fact
Mahmoud Sadri

Palestinians treated same way as Native-Americans

Daniel Pourkesali

The plight of Palestinians in the past 60 years eerily parallels that of America's native population and their treatment at the hands of the European settlers. I recommend the book titled "A Century of Dishonor" as a must read for everyone . It is one of the best documented accounts written by Helen Hunt Jackson published in 1888, which clearly captures some essential elements of what occured -- forced removals, killings, and callous disregard for the natives as well as a pattern of exaggeration and one-sided indictment that has persisted to this day >>>

That's what you get for insulting my mom

On Parham's "Something very bad": As soon as i saw what zidane did, i said materazzi must have cussed zidane's mom! i knew that because anyone who has done that to me in the last 45 years has regretted it. as a former boxer and someone who considers his mom his honor i would never allow anyone to insult my honor even if it costs me millions! stupid? i take it, as zidane will! >>> More letters



Catching matches

Photo essay and video clips: World Cup & Wimbeldon

The sea prophet

Four poems
Leila Farjami and Mana Aghaee

Poets Leila Farjami and Mana Aghaee have launched their collaborative representation of contemporary Persian poetry in English. Toomar.com comprises poetry by the two aformentioned poets in addition to translations of other Iranian poets' poems. below are four samples >>>

The party

Part 15: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

S.K. and his wife are at the party. It is late in the evening and as the last of the host's supply of homemade araq is being relentlessly attacked we listen to the tribulations of S.K., the famous translator, in his most recent project: translating T.S. Eliot for publication in an unforeseeable future. "And what is it that you -- daughter of a translator, come from America -- want to do?" he suddenly asks, turning to me. I say that I want to write: "I grew up on translation and have been living in translation since I left Iran. I'm tired of translations." >>>

Change in Iran in me

What struck me most were the things I discovered (and discovered anew) through the eyes of an ardent feminist, almost none of which were positive or optimistic in their outlook
Jairan Sadeghi

On one of the first days I spent in Iran, I told my father that I planned to set out to explore the city by foot or by taxi. He looked at me as though in shock, stating that that was a bad idea and that "I would not be left alone". I was not totally naïve to what he meant by that. I knew that I would probably get the occasional whistle, the dirty word muttered by some passing dude, or on a really bad day, a furtive grab at my glutes. I tried to shrug off his advice and tell him more about my planned destinations and sights. He did not drop the matter though, and insisted that I wait for my brother to do the driving. "You don't know what it's like," he said. "It's gotten bad, really bad. They're going to make 'assumptions' about you." "Assumptions", I thought angrily. I had every right to waltz out into those streets. And so, the next day when I found myself alone in the house, I donned my unassuming hijab and my don't-mess-with-me scowl >>>

Self-righteous lashing with no facts

Ari Siletz

In her web article, "Selling out to sell a book," Sudabeh Siavashan criticizes an interview she has not heard. This interview is about a book she has not read. By this author's own statement her opinions are based on what she calls a "very short and I believe very useful [website] piece." Armed with this hearsay she has launched an attack on the wrong coordinates, inflicting collateral damage to the reputations and careers of innocent Iranian writers and poets... For Siavashan it would be good practice in intellectual integrity to read a book before lashing out against it. After she has mastered this exercise in fairness, she is welcome to join the rest of us in our human rights concerns >>>

Something very bad


For some 24 hours, the greatest mystery surrounded the issue of Zidane's head-butt to Materazzi's chest, which happened during the final of the World Cup yesterday, 9 june. Everybody was saying that Materazzi must have mumbled something really nasty to have pissed a gentleman like Zidane off that badly. There were all sorts of rumors coming out of the rumor mill about the incident. One that was made by the Brits and that was denied almost immediately told of a racist remark, depicting Materazzi as calling Zidane a "dirty terrorist". But as I said, that one didn't turn out to be true... The mystery has now been solved as announced on world media a few minutes ago >>>


Viva Italia in San Francisco

Photo essay: Cheering for Italy in San Francisco

Missing TEAM genes

Faramarz Fateh

Iran team-e melli dareh, Italia va Farance ham team daran!! ey vallah. Congratulations to France and Italy! The best 2 teams played the finals and the best team overall won. As I watched the quater, semi and final games of the world cup, I realized more and more that Iran's national team didn't even deserve to be in the top 32. Compared to say France, Italy or Germany, Iran's team needs to play the street soccer leagues in the Middle East. With the likes of Saudi Arabia etc >>>



Photo essay: Italian fans in London
Parima Shahin Moghaddam

Vive la France d’immigrés

Long live France of immigrants!
Jahanshah Rashidian

Even after the undeserved defeat against Italy, the crowd enthusiastic celebrated all the night on Champs-Élysées. The cheers, the cries, the honking of horns, the waving of French flags, the car flags all prove the country's biggest public fest. The tri-colour of French flag has now become an entire symbol, it symbolises “non au racisme”, no to racism. The victory belongs also to the French coach “le sélectionneur national”, team selector, Raymond Domenech who selected the national team based on their performance on the field. Such a proud victory is of course a political defeat for all the extreme Rights in Europe.  From the National Front, in France, to the German neo-Nazi of NPD party or Ahmadinejad’s friends, they all started a dirty campaign for an all-white national team. Their followers in stadium even were mocking the origins of non-white players >>>


Les Bleus

Photo essay: French fans in London
Parima Shahin Moghaddam

Billionaire's dilemma

"Anybody who dies rich, dies disgraced."
Iqbal Latif

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, the richest of the rich, symbolize this ethic -- they are busy giving away most of their fortune while they are still alive. This is the most intricate of acts and most splendid, men typically in no way leave their holdings; the way Gates and Buffett washed their hands off theirs, signals an end to an epoch of charges of corporate greed and manipulation. Antitrust and illegal practices of Microsoft are now a distant past. As far as Microsoft becomes big to be a tool of help to the poor at large, no crime of monopoly and antitrust will ever stick. Rather, being a billionaire now is complex business; it is how much one gives away that matters and no more what one has >>>

Cradle or graveyard of The Empire?

Iran is the next step in the U.S. empire's reorganization of the Middle East
Ardeshir Mehrdad

No, the abysmal failures in Iraq have not dissuaded Washington from embarking on yet another adventure. George W. Bush and his warmongering allies are preparing themselves for another major incident in the Middle East. This time Iran is the main challenge in the establishment of the New world order and a direct target. The 'Nuclear Crisis' is artificial. The 'war against terror' is total deceit. The fig leaf of 'freedom and democracy' has not fooled anyone. The globe devouring monster is adamant that it can use 'the end of history' to plough the earth. It is determined to make the new century, a new American Century and it has set up its first camp right next to Middle Eastern oil fields. Overwhelmed by illusions of victory, this superpower has no qualms to burn down whatever is left of the countries of this region. What can be done to confront this monster? Can one restrain it from engulfing on yet another disastrous adventure in the Middle East? >>>

My cyber life

I picture a world with “digital” memories and the power to ‘save’ the blessings, ‘delete’ the scars
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Sitting at the edge of the bed, I take special care not to wrinkle the covers and look at the pool area through French doors. It is in the nineties today and many people are enjoying the water or lying in the sun. Three little girls are splashing water at each other and I marvel at their relentless screams. With the sound of computer keyboard still in my head, I ask myself, how did the big hotels solve such room problems before the computer era? I can’t remember exactly when I became so dependent on the variety of new gadgets, but it’s hard to imagine a life without answering machines, cell phones, and computers. Oh, if only all life’s problems could be resolved with the click of a button! >>>

Selling out to sell a book

A selective approach to voices of the diaspora
Sudabeh Siavashan

It is known to anyone who can read Persian (and actually takes the time to read Persian newspapers) that Said Mortazavi is responsible for the closing of more than 100 periodicals in Iran and the imprisonment of many real intellectuals who attempted to make their voices heard. In fact many of these intellectuals are now residing abroad and it is so strange that the editor of Let Me Tell You Where I've Been has decided to ignore those who have been in the Islamic republic's prison and have told us about their horrifying experiences. Aren't they part of the diaspora? And of course it is not just about Mortazavi and only about the editor of this collection. Hakimian is absolutely correct in considering this editor and her interview only one example of a larger phenomenon but I think she is too easy on them! >>>

Middle East Made in USA

Nima Kasraie

Ralph Peters, once a Colonel of the US Army, has a map in his newly released book ''Never Quit the Fight'', (Stackpole Books. 2006). According to him, the solution to the Middle East crisis is to dissolve Iran and Iraq into separate little independent republics. Just thought it might be interesting. I got the map pictures from Baztab, which they claim got it from his book >>>

Simply a stunner

The proper etiquette of meeting Shahrnush Parsipur in the United States
Golbarg Bashi

The English translation of the novel Touba and the Meaning of Night (FeministPress.org) by the pre-eminent Iranian writer Shahrnush Parsipur was recently released by a major US publishing house in New York. One no longer needs to have an Iranian passport or an Iranian visa to get onboard Parsipur’s imaginative boat... At the conclusion of the Feminist Press reception, I arranged to see Parsipur for lunch on the following day so I could interview her, and she gracefully agreed. At about noon time the following day, and over my husband’s outstanding Baqali Polo, we sat down and reminisced about Touba, Mahdokht, Zarrin, Mones, Farrokh-Laqa and most importantly Shahrnush... >>>


Islamic totalitarianism

Book excerpt
Chahla Chafiq

Take that LA!

Bruce Bahmani

It seems the power of music is stronger than politics, government corruption and possibly faith. At least that is the way it seems it might be in Tehran these days, for Benyamin Bahadori, specifically. A friend visiting Tehran recently told me this story; As he was being driven around town by a cousin, they noticed a car full of young men sitting on the back end of a vanette/pickup next to their car, stuck in traffic, per usual. The men were listening to a song being played surprisingly loudly in their car, and to my friend's amazement, his cousin began singing along with them. It was a very snappy pop tune, and clearly everyone except my friend knew the words. The song, as it turns out was "Taraneh Vazheh" (Words) a hugely popular hit on the street >>>


Born to drum

Video clip: Drummer performing in front of China Town metro station, Washington DC
Jahanshah Javid

Yeh gooz be eftekhaare hameh!

Azari Asal

Why is farting such a big deal in our community? I mean realistically, it shouldn't be an issue since we all have a great admiration and love for medical science. Iranian couples often avoid farting anywhere near each other not even in the bathroom, if the spouse is nearby. I know of many Iranian women who think that a single, innocent, harmless, gooz can break up their marriage. How weak is that? I had a chat with a friend who's been married to her abusive husband of 26 years. She has at times suffered physical and emotional abuse. Even to this day, she's frightened of him. Not to undermine her misery, but I was curious if she has ever farted in front of her antar husband >>>

It was not easy just sitting in your seat


Chicago was the first city on a US tour for a new voice, ROJAN. And such a delight to hear her\ warm, rich and powerful voice accompanied by accomplished musicians who truly enjoyed playing their instruments. Last month the Chicago audiences were treated to a wonderful evening of great music, Persian songs and poetry, Kurdish folk music and lots of heart warming sounds from different regions of Kurdestan. The masterful musicians directed by Tahmores Pournazeri, came from Kurdestan.  The sound of Tombak, Tanbour, Dohol, Daf, Santour, Setar, Ud, Kamancheh and Barbat filled the halls. The program started with a duet by Tahmores and Sohrab Pournazeri on Setar and Kamancheh and was followed by the rest of group and the voice of Rojan >>>

Ettehaad beyne democracy khaahaan, chegooneh?

How to unite democratic forces?
Ali Salari


More than Maashine Mashti Mamdali

Photo essay: Colorado auto show
Parviz Forghani

Mard saalaari - Pedar saalaari

An individualistic attitude towards patriarchy will never solve the problem
Homayoun Abghari

Keep looking

Amir Abbas Fakhravar will liberate no one
Pedram Moallemian

So, let’s see if I have it correct; Amir Abbas Fakhravar (Siavash) is a “student” leader who has caused all sorts of devastation on the carcass of the failing regime in Iran and as such has been jailed a few times. Okay, I’ll buy that. This year, in the midst of serving his latest sentence (he received 8 years in November of 2002), he unexpectedly appears in Dubai, apparently after being on the run for 10 months and finally escaping the country in fear of an imminent assassination. Hmmm. Twenty four short hours after his arrival, he is greeted in UAE by Prince of Darkness, Richard “Ahmed Chalabi is the natural successor to Saddam Hussein” Perle himself. Amir Abbas is then whisked away to DC, where he suddenly has an office at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) to “plead to US to ‘liberate’ Iran” and is the guest of honor at an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) luncheon >>>

Lost in life

Gentlemen, do us (women kind) a favor and never get married
Sholeh Ja

I wasn't going to write about this but I thought if I could help only one person out there, it is well worth the effort. Let me begin by saying that I am not a writer, so pardon me if I am not doing a good job. This story started when I went to the local bookstore in Los Gatos, California, to pick up a magazine, have a cup of coffee and relax after a hard working day. Since I do not look Persian, the two gentlemen sitting next at me, did not see a need to lower their voice, therefore, continued their conversation: #1: Midoni zanha aslan mikhan mard haro avaz konan. Natureshon hast. Ta ba adam dost mishan ya dastor midan ya mikhan akhlaghato avaz konan. Deroz barayeh avalin bar ba Soodabeh raftam biron... >>>

Anti-Islamism does not justify racism

An Open Letter to Oriana Fallaci
Azar Majedi

It seems to me that the hate against Islam has pushed you towards Christianity. You have even visited the Pope asking him to take a stronger stance against Islamism. This I find puzzling. How does an atheist in hate of one religion take refuge in another? Your hate against Islamism and political Islam finds expression in Euro centrism. Your disapproval for multiculturalism and cultural relativism has led you to defend “western culture”, instead of universal rights and secular, humanitarian and libertarian values. As a young girl growing in Iran, under the rule of Islam, I read western philosophers and writers to educate myself with enlightened principles and values regarding equality, freedom and women’s rights. I chose the libertarian and egalitarian side of Western culture, and I am bewildered why, you an atheist, a fighter against fascism, had to resort to Euro centrism and racism in order to defend Western culture >>>


Bold contemporary

Hooshang Khorasani

Creative sofa

Maskhareh kardan-e Ahmaghinejad hagh-e mossallam-e maast

In the article “Tamaskhorism”, Mazdak made some untrue remarks about me and my work submitted to the “toons” section of Iranian.com. First you called me an artist, which I am not, then my work as art and masterpieces, which it is not. Then you conclude that I am as much of an artist as your sofa, well since I am not an artist then I guess I am as much of an artist as your sofa. However I must say your sofa can not create what I have created. All of the works submitted to Iranian.com so far are altered, tampered, manipulated photo paintings. Mahmoud calls them cartoon paintings, and I think that might be a good name for them. You look at them and think that I have only made some scribble on already existing pictures, which is true >>>


det iranska nationaleposet

Swedish translation of the Shahnameh
Anja Malmberg and Namdar Nasser

Talagh? Jesus Christ!

Bruce Bahmani

OK, I'll admit it. I am a die hard Googoosh fan. As one of the founders of Googosh.com I know my fair share of Googoosh trivia.Take for example her name. Of course we all know that Googoosh is an Armenian name. But, did you know that Googoosh is actually a boy's name?Aha!Another thing about Googosh that we all know is the sheer modernity and advanced nature of her music ... Probably the best known of these is the fantastic 70's anthem, "Talagh". Did you know that the intro to Talagh was taken from the then not so popular Andrew Lloyd Webber's Rock Opera "Jesus Christ Superstar"? >>>

France is really awsome--seriously

Parissa Sohie

Four years ago, I wrote you about our sudden passion for a sport. Well, as i see it, M and I will be downright nuts every four years. The day of the Portugal-France game I was itchy to see the game, but was at work. M had already announced that he would be 'working from home'. One of my co-workers found a way of streaming the game and was wondering out loud if we should go to the conference room to watch the game. Before he could finish his thought, I had rounded up speakers and mostly set up the conference room (complete with mini pizzas) and was 'working' as we watched the game. I was jumping up and down and trash talking with the guys--who had never even seen me listen to anything related to sports. I think I impressed them (when I wasn't scaring them). France is really awsome--seriously. I'm looking forward to all of this being over so I can celebrate France's win, Zidans's retirement and return to my regularly scheduled life.

From Guinea worms to jellyfish

Goodbye to all that Iranian ‘opposition’
Reza Bayegan

As soon as the U.S. administration seems to be talking tough to the mullahs, these Iranians smell the aroma of their dream food coming from the Pentagon kitchen and begin salivating. They crawl out of their holes, bounce on their feet and jockey for the best seats on the gravy train. They want the choicest dishes of the banquet and there is no time to dally. In their headlong rush however, they end up trampling over each other and getting crushed in the stampede. When the smell from the kitchen subsides and their hopes wane, bloodied and exhausted they crawl back to their holes nursing their wounds and biding their time for the next opportunity >>>

Pretending nothing happened

The courage and determination of Iranian women participating in the June 12 protest for equal rights went far beyond what was suggested in article

Dear Editors of to Monthly Review, In a recent posting on [iranian.com &] your web site, Rostam Pourzal uses an anonymous email by a ‘witness’ in Tehran to deny the extent of the repression of women demonstrators by vigilante Islamic police on 12 June  2006. Pourzal tries to portray president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a ‘popular’, ‘radical’ figure, and tries to underestimate, justify and excuse the brutal, repressive nature of the Islamic regime in Iran; in doing so he makes various assumptions and claims that we will deal with in a another posting.  However as far as the events of 12 June in Tehran are concerned, contrary to the claims of the anonymous ‘observer’, the extent and intensity of the  brutal attack on the peaceful women’s demonstration was far worse than that portrayed by the BBC and the international media >>>


Wailing walls

Ali Ghaemi

The empire had no boundaries

Introducing Persia, Part I
Maziyar Talaforush

Recent linguistic, anthropological, and archeological evidence, due to the hard work of such scholars as Nigel Tallis and John Curtis of the British Museum, Sir Richard Nelson Frye, Mary Boyce, Kaveh Farrokh and many other scholars has led to many new discoveries. One conjecture is that the ancient cult of the dead practiced by the Scythians mixed with the festivities in which costumes were worn, occupations were exchanged (the King and the pauper exchanged places for a day), food and cookies were given-out, and fun-chaos ruled the day, burrowed by the Scythians through cross-cultural exchanges with their linguistic and genetic counter-parts, the Persians (IrAnies), had eventually led to the enduring traditions that we know today to be Halloween >>>

It's not worth so much humiliation

The Palestinain conflict
Ben Madadi

When one does something wrong, and the outcome is unsatisfactory, there are two options: do it again, or find out what you did wrong and change the way you did it. Here comes the unanimous flaw of the Arabs: They're continuing to do the same thing all over again, being humiliated again and again. They are persistent though. Some day they're probably going to make it, either annihilate Israel, or find some other formula to take the long-awaited revenge. How long it may take? Well, as long as there are Arabs out there, there will definitely be Jews. But maybe there can be a smart way >>>

From revolution to dissent

Iranian intellectuals
Ramin Jahanbegloo

It is a fact, the reformist and neo-conservative intellectuals do not dominate the entire Iranian public sphere. Next to them, one can consider a new generation of Iranian intellectuals who do not attempt to promulgate any ideologies and yet they undermine the main concepts of the established order. This generation is mainly characterized by the secular post-revolutionary intellectuals who are in their thirties and forties and who can be referred to as the “dialogical intellectuals” (in contrast with the ideological intellectuals of the early 1980s). In other words, for this new generation of Iranian intellectuals, the concept and the practice of dialogue provides an ontological umbrella for all the political and cultural meanings and understandings >>>

How fragile we are

I don't know folks, Iran, especially Tehran is looking more and more like the Wild West
Hamid Bakhsheshi

All their lives, my sister raised these two kids to follow the law, if there is such thing in Iran, specifically, when it came to driving and pedestrian rules. All their lives these kids were ridiculed by all because they looked for pedestrian crossing, waited for the light to turn red, waited for the traffic to clear, even criticize their father for not following the driving rules. Arezoo was standing at the side of the street waiting to flag a cab. A motorcycle ran a red light and struck her tiny body, through her in the gutter. Her limp, unconscious body was dragged out of the gutter by bystanders and authorities were called >>>

I come home a different person

A little more in touch with my Iranian identity
Pouya Alimagham

I've been in Iran for about two-and-a-half months now and it has been the longest time I've ever been in another country other than the United States. Ten weeks is not a short period of time, but I really didn't need that much time to feel at home here. Iran has become such a familiar place to me that just after a few weeks, I had to remind myself that I was abroad in another country. Needless to say, Iran has become my second home >>>

America's true face revealed

On decision by a US court to auction ancient Persian artifacts to compensate victims of terrorism: I believe Judge Manning's decision has finally revealed America's true face to the Iranians and the world at large. What about the $3,000,000+ dead Vietnamese? What about American support of Saddam Hussain during the Iran-Iraq war, resulting in more that $1,000,000 dead and untold suffering and destruction? What about CIA sponsored murders in South America and elsewhere in the world? Just to name a few. As the unfolding events in the Middle-East clearly show, according to American-Israeli standards, human life has different values in different parts of our planet >>> More letters



New confidence

Shirin Ghandchi

If you act like sheep

Sit down and educate yourself on just exactly what is a democratic society
Cyrus Mossadegh

If the current individuals holding power in Iran continue their muddled, fumbling, incoherent, and utterly incompetent approach to negotiating with Western powers over Iran's nuclear energy program, then the likelihood that Iran ends up in a military confrontation with America is greatly increased and therefore sufficient reason for Iranians to demand the removal of the current regime >>>

Lost in air space

Suggestions to Iranians who are thinking of having their parents in the USA
Shahla Hemmati

I live in Austin, Texas. I would like to have some words with the Iranians who live in the United States and want their parents to travel to this country either on a tourist visa or the parents who are getting their permanent residency. These parents looked lost and scared of the traveling issues that are tied to air traveling. My point of sending this letter to you is to let other Iranians, who are thinking of inviting their parents, to be aware of the issues that rise for their parents during the trip, especially the ones who do not speak English >>>

Negaahi beh "Ravaabete Iran va Amrika"

A new book on Iran-US relations published by the Iranian Foreign Ministry
Hassan Behgar

Celebration of life

Jahanshah Javid

A few months ago I was on mage.com and "From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table" caught my eye. They said it was going to be on sale soon. Well, it's finally here and publisher Mohammad Batmanglij emailed me last night that my complimentary copy is on its way. I'm thrilled. I have not read a word of the book yet, and I'm not even a fan of wine (I like beer), but Najmieh Batmanglij's choice of subject is so original and refreshing that I can't help but strongly recommend it to everyone. It shows a side of us that celebrates life. And I'll drink to that, anytime.

Looting Iran

What the University of Chicago has in its possession is part and parcel of a heritage that belongs to the Iranian people
Niki Akhavan

In 2004, scholars at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute began taking significant steps towards renewing their relationship to their counterparts in Iran. For the first time since close cooperation between Iran and the University ended in 1979, the Institute returned a number of the ancient tablets to the Iranian Cultural Organization as a “good faith” gesture made in the hope of negotiating agreements for new excavations and joint training and publication programs. If Strachman succeeds in forcing the sale of the remaining artifacts, the reconciliation between the University and Iran will not be the only relationship that will be undermined. Iranians from a range of backgrounds, be they staunch supporters or sworn enemies of their current government, are increasingly becoming aware of the double standards, misrepresentations, and unjust maneuverings around domestic and international laws that seem to be at play when it comes to Iran >>>


The man who steals roses from the White House

Video clip: Washington DC flowerman
Jahanshah Javid

Paris to Persia

Michael McKinley

I recently returned from a month long trip to Iran and France, spending most of my time in Tehran and Paris. During the course of my trip I had the opportunity to really put my cameras to use; here are what I consider to be some of the better photographs from my trip. I have over 1000 images but I thought lowering the number to around 100 would be sufficient. The photographs cover my travels from Tehran to Ahwaz then back via Shiraz, Isfahan (or Esfahan), Qom, and many other wonderful places before ending in Paris. As an American traveling in Iran I was awestruck by the natural beauty of the country as well as the hospitality of the people >>>


Yazd in New Mexico

Photo essay: Albuquerque and Santa Fe in New Mexico
Kamal Saffarinia

I got a chance to take few photos from two beautiful cities, Albuquerque and Santa Fe in New Mexico while attending a Water Resources conference (June 2006). The building architecture and the climate resembles cities such as Kashan and Yazd in Iran. Hope you like them >>>

Only in Berkeley

Neshat Rezai

Berkeley was the first city to ban Styrofoam and to start curbside recycling.  Moreover, Berkeley also took the lead in calling for the government to divest from South Africa during Apartheid era.  Berkeley was the first city to desegregate its public schools without a court order. Berkeley is the only city with an edible schoolyard project.  Berkeley is often associated with the Free Speech Movement of the 60's... And NOW: Berkeley is the first city to put a resolution on the ballot calling for President Bush and Vice President Cheney to be impeached!!! ONLY IN BERKELEY!!! (If you live in Berkeley, make sure you vote!!)

The worst of the West

Iran's immitation of WESTERN behavior deserves criticism
Rostam Pourzal

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, Iran must really adore the American model of state conduct. Contrary to popular perceptions, the decision-makers in Tehran agree with their nemesis, Akbar Ganji, who recently told the Voice of America that the West was "the cradle of civilization". Two recent moves by Iran are especially noteworthy. First the police in Tehran try to imitate the beating of women in Turkey on the International Women's Day, 2005. Turkey is the closest ally of the US and Israel in all of Middle East and North Africa and its security apparatus is modeled after and integrated with Washington's war on terrorism. Now comes evidence that the Iranian leadership is inspired by America's disrespect for the United Nations, too >>>


Organic metal

Abolfazl Shahi

The Ganji phenomenon

Ganji must now use the international tribune to clearly outline his position about Khomeini and Political Islam
Jahanshah Rashidian

Ganji’s pompous Manifesto, which is a big number for him, is a collection of other thinkers. It dose not separate Ganji from his Islamist past. He had better off express his own ideas about Khomeini, Political Islam and the legitimacy of any form of Islamic regime instead of borrowing ideas from other thinkers. While Ganji boasts about the philosophy and values of human rights, his extensive quotations from Khomeini, his belief in his legitimacy and his long silence on the abominable crimes committed under and with direct order of Khomeini all remain as the little secrets of Ganji-phenomenon. These questions raise many looming questions about Ganji’s past and his political aims >>>

Long bygone and yet so alive

Nasrin Sasanpour

Shiraz was as beautiful as ever. The air was fragrant with jasmine and roses, the nightingales sang freely, and the great poets of the city, Hafez and Sa'di stood tall in spirit besides their tombs, greeting hordes of lovers in different garbs & moods. Persepolis spoke of another era... long bygone and yet so alive, reminiscing of the glory of people 2,500 years ago. In the minds of Persians, the question, rings here and then: A civilization so great, what happened? And can it ever be resurrected. The following is a sample of what I experienced during my visit to Shiraz in April 2006 >>> Watch



Photo essay: Back to my little hometown in Iranian Azarbaijan
Vahid Garousi

Bless their souls

Reza Kayhani

July 3rd is the day 290 families, their friends and relatives mourn the loss of their loved ones on this day in 1988. The Iran Air Flight 655 was brought down over the Persian Gulf by U.S.S Vincennes, by Capt. William C. Rogers III, at 10:24AM local time. The plane was an Air Bus (EP-IBU) piloted by Capt. Mohsen Rezaian, and Co-Pilot Kamran Taymori, both educated in USA. God bless their souls. Let's pray for peace across the world, amen.

Haunting performance

Babak Khiavchi

This was originally from the album Endless Vision, a live recording with Hossein Alizadeh & Jivan Gasparyan on stage in the Niavaran Palace outdoor venue in Tehran (Sept.4-6, 2003) with more than 12,000 spectators. The attached mp3 file is a haunting live performance of Sari Galin, sung in Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Farsi. Alizadehs arrangement is amazing, and Afsaneh Rasaee's emotional singing stands out even though she can't sing solo on stage in a live performance in Iran. Jivan Gasparyan sings the Armenian lyrics with the calmness and assurance of a true master musician. The Farsi lyrics give the song a whole other dimension when they start.

Here's your chance, Your Majesty

Reza Pahlavi is perhaps the best candidate to fight against a U.S. court ruling permitting the sale of Persian archaeological pieces on loan to the University of Chicago

While a mass petition drive may have been effective in persuading the National Geographic Society to change its position with respect to the Persian Gulf’s historic name, it will not move the Supreme Court of the United States toward a successful outcome in the case of Persian archeological pieces loaned to the University of Chicago. This by no means is intended to be a rain on the petition organizers’ parade; but if the objective is the preservation of the pieces, then a more effective strategy has to be formulated >>>


Alarming precedent

Daniel Pourkesali

The decision by U.S. District Judge Blanche M. Manning to allow liquidation of ancient Persian artifacts on loan to University of Chicago in order to settle a lawsuit by American survivors of a bombing in Israel will establish an alarming precedent which will further damage U.S. image and open a flood gate of litigation by survivors of American financed bombings around the globe. First of all if Iran is legally responsible for any hostile action taken by Hamas then the reverse is also true. And we all know when it comes to killing civilians indiscriminately, nobody does is better than the U.S.  and the Israelis >>>

They belong to the people

Nima Kasraie

Dear President Bush,

I urge you to step in and save the priceless treasures of the Oriental Institute of The University of Chicago and Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History from being given away to plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Iran's government. In reality, those treasures are not the property of any government, but belong to the people. They are an irreplaceable cultural patrimony, irreplaceable as a scholarly resoure for understanding world history and heritage, and NOT a commercial item. Please step in and stop this unique world heritage from being given away by District Judge Blanche Manning's ruling.


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